North Park Commits to Suburbs Chicago-Based University Plans Arlington Heights Campus
Davis, Jon, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
North Park University is moving its Northwest suburban operations to Arlington Heights and plans to expand over time from a handful of courses to a full-fledged satellite campus.
The 2,300-student liberal arts school began offering classes at the Forest View Educational Center on May 1, and will start graduate-level business courses there during the week of June 5.
"We just hope this will turn into a long-lasting relationship there," said Don Cassiday, director of operations for North Park's business school, the Center for Management Education.
Chris Nicholson, director of admissions for graduate and continuing education, said North Park's move gives the school better visibility and brings the school closer to students who might not otherwise travel to the main campus in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood.
"We decided to be proactive and take the education out to them," Nicholson said.
North Park's move also continues the charge of 4-year colleges into the Northwest suburban market, in search of students and name recognition in an arena of ever-growing options in higher education.
North Park joins Northern Illinois University, which offers classes at its Hoffman Estates satellite campus and in Motorola's Schaumburg offices; Evanston-based National-Louis University's Wheeling campus; and Roosevelt University, of Chicago, whose Alfred A. Robin campus in Schaumburg boasts an enrollment of 3,040 students.
Educational opportunities via the Internet give working adults more options than they had five years ago, said John Joseph, campus executive officer of Roosevelt's Schaumburg campus.
"I think what you're seeing is a positioning of institutions to compete with that dramatic change by outreach to other parts of the region through traditional offerings," Joseph said.
More competition - and North Park's business courses will compete with Roosevelt's - is inevitable, Joseph said.
"A number of institutions are finding this an attractive region, just as we have," he said. "It's a very important area both because of the industrial, commercial business base and the residential base."
Perhaps ironically, North Park returns a collegiate presence to the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, for the first time since Roosevelt ended its 15-year tenure there in August 1996. …